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  1. #1
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    Jun 2013
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    Default How often is Too often?

    This is my first year and have one strong hive and one struggling. My question is can you do detriment to a hive by inspecting it thouroughly often? I would think the more you knew what was going on inside the better. Is a couple times a week too often to inspect the hives? Am I somehow hindering the colony by the disruption? I wish I could pull frames daily. Thanks for the input. G

  2. #2
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: How often is Too often?

    You may be doing them some harm, but how else are you going to learn about them if you don't go into them as often as you want to. Eventually you will find that you don't want to go into them as much and you will find yourself going into them for good reason.

    Enjoy your bees.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  3. #3
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    Jun 2013
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    Cumberland Va.
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    Default Re: How often is Too often?

    Thanks for the advice, Its hard to leave them alone, but I expect i will have to at some point. I have had to add frames and requeen to try and save a laying worker hive, success so far new queen laying and well. Thanks again. G

  4. #4
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: How often is Too often?

    I would say twice a week is the maximum that anyone should ever need to go into a hive, and most probably don't go in once a week. But if you do need to go in for a particular reason twice a week, its not going to hurt anything really. The more you go into a hive brood chamber the better the chance that you will accidently kill or injure the queen, not good. Outside of that, you only disrupt the hive activity for a couple hours after an inspection and then everything returns to normal. I have had to go into some hives a couple times a week before, and they still produce 200 lbs. of honey a year, so what's the big deal. John

  5. #5
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    Jun 2013
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    Cumberland Va.
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    Default Re: How often is Too often?

    Thanks for the insight John. I will take it under advisement. I guess I am just an anxious new beekeeper. Trying to stay in front of trouble. The first hive I got was a small swarm and it was 3 weeks before I realized I was queenless and laying worker, since righted the ship but just paranoid I expect. Thanks again. G

  6. #6
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    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: How often is Too often?

    The cure to this problem is more hives.

    If you want to be a hands on bee keeper then the minimum you want to inspect in order to find and fix most problems is probably somewhere around once every three weeks more or less. Even then you can see everything you need to see by looking at very few frames. Your first year, with your first hive - go in as often as you want to. The new bees to worry about are the ones that have no such desire. So, you're good.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2009
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: How often is Too often?

    That's for sure David, the bees in my home yard get bothered the most.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2012
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    Jamesville, NY
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    Default Re: How often is Too often?

    My solution is to inspect two hives at a time (I have 4 nucs I started this year). This way I can work a set of hives every 4-7 days but still give them at least a week rest in between. Although I only go in when I have a purpose, and stop the inspection when the purpose has been served - some inspections are shorter than others.

    Cracking the box (no smoke) and peeking in to see how they are progressing with drawing comb, doesn't count as an inspection in my book.

    Then again I could be going in all to often and all 4 hives will have issues later... (new guy here )

  9. #9
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    Jan 2009
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    Default Re: How often is Too often?

    In my experience with my local association and new bee keepers - not doing enough inspections the first year often results in it also being the last year. Frequent inspections - even too frequent - seem to have the opposite result.

  10. #10
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: How often is Too often?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beelosopher View Post
    My solution is to inspect two hives at a time (I have 4 nucs I started this year). This way I can work a set of hives every 4-7 days but still give them at least a week rest in between. Although I only go in when I have a purpose, and stop the inspection when the purpose has been served - some inspections are shorter than others.

    Cracking the box (no smoke) and peeking in to see how they are progressing with drawing comb, doesn't count as an inspection in my book.

    Then again I could be going in all to often and all 4 hives will have issues later... (new guy here )
    Why aren't you working all four during the same trip? I don't understand. You are already there set to do the work. After two how do you keep yourself from checking the other two?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  11. #11
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    Jamesville, NY
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    Default Re: How often is Too often?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Why aren't you working all four during the same trip? I don't understand. You are already there set to do the work. After two how do you keep yourself from checking the other two?
    They are all in my back yard (I have a few acres so I literally walk back and am there).

    Believe me it is painful to not go into the next two.... But it gives me something to look forward to in a few days. I am sure this (desire) will pass, or I may be looking at more hives

  12. #12
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    Default Re: How often is Too often?

    I'm sorry, I thought you had a management reason. What's the rationale?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  13. #13
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    Jamesville, NY
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    Default Re: How often is Too often?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I'm sorry, I thought you had a management reason. What's the rationale?
    No management reason (except I want to be in the hives more often without going in each hive every 4 days ). If I work two, leave two, the bees get a week plus in between inspections, but I get to work two hives every 4 days or so since I am alternating.

    Rationale: More frequent hive inspections; Not bothering a set of hives more than once a week

    As my drive to be working a hive lessens, I am sure I will switch to working all the hives on the same day. But this is still all too new and interesting. I am sure you vets don't have trouble letting a full week pass.

  14. #14
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    Dec 2012
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    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: How often is Too often?

    As a new beekeeper, I probably spend too much time poking around in my hives, but I try to avoid inspecting them thoroughly more often than once a week. This may not be the best thing for the bees, but these particular bees have the misfortune of being part of my education.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: How often is Too often?

    What is best for the bees and best for the beekeeper are not always the same thing.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  16. #16
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    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: How often is Too often?

    ASk yourself this question, what do i expect to see differnt this inspection? without a reason for the inspection, your just nosey ! (not a bad thing) but as you noted your disturbing them for no real reason. get more hives,,, split your snooping over several hives!
    But my basis. is always what am i looking for and why?? ( I also would be in them every day)

  17. #17
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    Default Re: How often is Too often?

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    ASk yourself this question, what do i expect to see differnt this inspection? without a reason for the inspection, your just nosey ! (not a bad thing) but as you noted your disturbing them for no real reason. get more hives,,, split your snooping over several hives!
    But my basis. is always what am i looking for and why?? ( I also would be in them every day)
    To give you an example of why my bees get frequently inspected, when I got back to FL, I checked the 3 hives I have in my back yard. The smallest and the biggest looked good. The one from a Wolf Creek package didn't look right to me, with only scattered patches of worker brood. So I checked it a week later, and by then there was nothing but drone brood. I gave it a frame of eggs and open brood from my boomer. But I checked it today, and I definitely have a laying worker hive, with multiple eggs in some newly drawn comb-- 3 or 4 to a cell.

    This is a pretty big hive with a lot of bees, so I'll try to save it by giving it a frame of eggs and brood each week for the next couple of weeks. I'd hate to have to shake it out, because it's built a lot of small cell comb, but it might come to that.

    Anyway, as a beginner with just a few hives, I have to inflict myself on the bees in order to learn how to keep them.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: How often is Too often?

    Thanks david, that was kind of my line of thought. More is better until I learn when enough is enough.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Lake County Ill
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    Default Re: How often is Too often?

    jmgi
    Out of curiosity how many hives do you have that produce 200 pounds a year. If you use shallow supers how many pounds do you estimate for a 10 frame super. I am trying to estimate the pounds from my hives but i am not certain that each super has 10 full frames.
    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    I would say twice a week is the maximum that anyone should ever need to go into a hive, and most probably don't go in once a week. But if you do need to go in for a particular reason twice a week, its not going to hurt anything really. The more you go into a hive brood chamber the better the chance that you will accidently kill or injure the queen, not good. Outside of that, you only disrupt the hive activity for a couple hours after an inspection and then everything returns to normal. I have had to go into some hives a couple times a week before, and they still produce 200 lbs. of honey a year, so what's the big deal. John

  20. #20
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    May 2013
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    Rensselaer County, NY USA
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    16

    Default Re: How often is Too often?

    I know what you mean, i look forward to checking out the gals myself

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